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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Murder Book

Narrator: Peter Berkrot

ISBN: 9781696607995

Publisher: HighBridge Audio

Mysterious Press

Publication Date: 01/17/2023

Format: Audiobook 🎧

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

An ex-cop takes on a widespread criminal organization targeting midwestern towns in this new thriller from the author of The Old Man.

When a sudden crime wave hits several small midwestern towns, the US Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization—but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can't say no.

Initially brought in as a consultant to determine if the racketeering is severe enough to require an all-out investigation by the FBI, Duncan quickly finds himself in conflict with a syndicate far more violent than first suspected. As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a "murder book," the notebook in which a detective keeps records, interviews, photos—everything he needs to build his case. But his scrutiny of the gang soon makes Duncan a target. And Ellen, too.

A thrilling and suspenseful tour of crime-addled midwestern towns, Murder Book is signature Thomas Perry, with characters you won't soon forget, crisply-described action sequences, and breathlessly-tense plotting.

Buy the Book

My Review

MURDER BOOK by acclaimed author Thomas Perry provides readers with triple the entertainment.

~AUTHOR: Thomas Perry. The writing is Top Notch—Stellar!

~NARRATOR: Peter Berkrot. One of my favorite audio narrators —Swoon!

~PROTAGONIST: Chicago PI Harry Duncan—Fearless, smart, and funny! Please bring him back for a series.

Chicago PI Harry Duncan is the star of this intense stellar crime novel. His ex-wife Ellen Leicester, the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, offers Harry a contract.

Ellen wants him to investigate criminal activity in the small towns along Indiana's Ash River in the Midwest—from extortion, assaults, conspiracy, racketeering, and will turn out to be much more.

Even though they have been divorced for years and have not seen one another in 15 years; however, she trusts Harry. He wants to turn her down but he accepts.

She thinks the organized crime groups are making their way from Chicago to these smaller Midwest towns. Harry's job is to scout out the area. She needs more proof before the FBI spends federal funds for a full-scale investigation.

It does not take long for Harry to become engrossed with these dangerous characters. On the first day at the Elbow Room restaurant, two guys acting as cops try to use tactics to get money from him. He soon finds out thugs are trying to take over the places of business to pay them or else.

What is their motive? Who is behind this conspiracy to commit murder and more?

He meets the three Clark brothers trying to extort money from Renee at The Elbow Room, which makes him know he is on to something. Then things become more dangerous with kidnapping.

Ellen needs more proof, so he has to become involved with those who are their victims who may turn on them to find out who is behind this organized crime ring. He learns that this group is much more violent than he or Ellen had suspected, and he needs help.

He soon learns Gerald Russell, a relator who works for bigger guys in Chicago. The goons are putting pressure on the local businesses pushing them for payoffs with the goal of bankrupting and buying their business at a steep discount.

We also meet an assassin and things become dangerous when people are kidnapped and he is in the middle.

What makes it more stressful for Harry is that he cannot reach Ellen by phone. Is she throwing him under the bus? Did she set him up? Or is there a mole in her office keeping them from speaking with one another? Someone knows something as they are always one step ahead. Harry is in their way and they want him gone.

Will Harry be able to get enough proof for the FBI, or are there other higher-ups protecting the organized crime group?

As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a "murder book," the notebook in which the detective keeps records, interviews, photos—everything he needs to build his case. He is now a target and Ellen.

The MURDER BOOK packs a punch, and Harry is a very relatable character—love his style. The author kept me guessing regarding the loyalties of certain characters until the satisfying conclusion.

For fans of Michael Connley's Bosch, a superb fast-paced crime thriller with plenty of action, suspense, mystery, well-developed characters, and a protagonist you will root for until the end. I listened to the audiobook in one sitting.

An outstanding thriller from a writer at the top of his game—a real treat! Highly recommend.

I also enjoyed the supporting characters and as mentioned above, I hope this will be an ongoing series, as I enjoyed Harry's character and humor. Thomas Perry is a top crime writer, combined with Peter Berkrot (he is an auto-preorder)—one of the best crime narrators with the new Harry Duncan = A Winner!

Thank you to #HighbridgeAudio and #NetGalley for a gifted ALC.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Jan 17, 2023

My Rating: 5 🌟 Stars


"Harry is a thinking person's action hero, and Perry is the ultimate thinking person's thriller writer." ―Booklist Starred Review

"Mr. Perry’s characters come to life with a single sentence.… He’s one of the greatest living writers of suspense fiction."

―New York Sun

"The pages melt away as the story maintains a breathless pace throughout. This is further proof that Perry is a dominating force in the world of contemporary suspense thrillers."

―Publishers Weekly

"Top-drawer thrills from an author whose hard-nosed hero is as professional as he is."

―Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Photograph by Sam Dobbins,

Access One Photography

Thomas Perry was born in Tonawanda, New York in 1947. WEBSITE

He received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester in 1974.

He has worked as a park maintenance man, factory laborer, commercial fisherman, university administrator and teacher, and a writer and producer of prime time network television shows.

He lives in Southern California.

Perry is the author of 30 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel. Perry was the Bouchercon Guest of Honor at Bouchercon in Anchorage in 2007.

  • Perry won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book.

  • The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century."

  • Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers--Best Thrillers Ever.

  • Strip was chosen as a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010.

  • The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011.

  • The Informant won the the Barry Award in 2012.

  • Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013.

  • The Informant and Eddie's Boy are Barry Award winners.







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